Rigid hierarchical society

Traditional China
Dynastic Rule
China is one of the original
world civilizations!
Common Threads of
East Asia
Most common threads relate to the development of
civilization of Asia & geography & topography &
climate of the region.
Asia most fertile
area of the
Agricultural traditions in the worldin East Asia- Rice
Lead to population growth
Yangtze River valley- Rain is good,
32 hundred miles long,
Survival of large populations- need
for social control to preserve and
protect the resources of the
Rigid Class
Rigid hierarchical societyStratified into rigid layersclass society- some
movement- based on
Family Ties- kinship groupsextended family- villages.
Importance attached to
learning-important virtue
Veneration of age- respect to
elders & wisdom of elders
• Emperor and the Dynastic
Levels of Society
• Gentry- about 5-10% of
population. The gentry were
the scholar elite; they held
highest position in society.
• Peasants/Farmers- majority of
population: very important to
society because they produce
food- agriculture, not
• Artisans and merchantspeople who sell goods.
• Slave girls are the last level of
the social structure. Typically
they are young girls sold as
servant’s etc.
Gentry Class
Farmers & Peasants
Subjugation of
Women were restricted from
most education (maybe
knowledge of arts).
Women’s role was to
produce sons!
Three growing seasons!
Son’s carry on the name
Daughters were expensive
to marry off- dowry goes to
new family.
Son’s bring wife's and dowry
into the family!
Group welfare
over the
West is the individual, base unit of
society in East Asia it is family or
(certainly concern over individuals in
family and love)
Energy is spent on wealth of family,
village etc…
Excellent student in Asia see’s it as
village, extended family all helped
the student to succeed.
Common Threads of
East Asia
(Discussed earlier)
In the 7th & 8th centuries
A.D., China’s beliefs,
writing system,
philosophies, religions
and technology spread to
Japan, Korea, and
Vietnam defining the
area known as East Asia.
Chinese writing
system is called
Middle KingdomDynastic China
•For years, until the late 1800s, the Chinese
considered themselves the only true civilized people
on earth- the Middle Kingdom. They felt they needed
nothing from the outside world and had nothing to
learn from it.
• China’s location helps to
explain why the Chinese
thought they lived at the
center of the Earth.
• Long ago distance and
physical barriers limited
contact between China and
other centers of
civilizations. (until the Silk
• Physical barriers that kept
China isolated: •Gobi
Desert, Mongolian and
Tibetan plateaus, Himalaya
Mountains and rainforest
separated China from S. E.
Asia. To the east lies the
Pacific Ocean
Mandate of Heaven
The Chinese believed that heaven granted a ruler the
mandate, or right to rule. The people in return owed
the ruler complete loyalty and obedience.
Dynastic Rule in
• Dynasties, or ruling
families, ruled over China
from 2200 B.C. until 1911
• Chinese Emperor was
considered to be the Son
of heaven.
• The Dynasties were top
of the social structure.
Han Dynasty
Good Earth
• For a majority of the
people, peasants, life in
China for thousands of
years was very difficult.
• Throughout Chinese
history, they were
plagued by famine. In
traditional China, there
was an average of a
famine per year.
• In more modern times,
such as 1928-1930, one
famine killed three to six
million people.